What is the difference between nach and nachdem and in what instances would you choose to use one over the other?

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The difference between nach and nachdem is similar to vor and bevor. First, they are syntactically different: nach is a preposition and nachdem is a conjunction. This means that the latter will require typically at least a two-part sentence (for it to be connected by nachdem). The preposition nach doesn't require this.

Examples carrying the same information:

  • Nachdem sie gemeinsam abendgegessen hatten, hat er sämtliche Teller gespült.
  • Nach dem gemeinsamen Abendessen hat er sämtliche Teller gespült.

Remark: Nachdem has to be used with Consecutio temporum


Nach is a preposition, and nachdem is a subjunction. So, these are totally different word classes. Consider the following examples:


  • Ich gehe nach Hause.
  • Die Drei kommt nach der Zwei.


  • Ich sah ihn erst, nachdem ich zuhause angekommen war.
  • Ich kaufe eine der beiden Jacke, je nachdem welche besser passt.

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